WWE

Unnecessary WWE Title Win Would Tarnish John Cena's Legacy

FILE- In this Sunday, April 6, 2014 file photo, John Cena celebrates his win during Wrestlemania XXX at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans. World-famous WWE wrestlers such as John Cena, Shaemus and champion Randy Orton are in Saudi Arabia for three days of matches in the capital Riyadh. (Jonathan Bachman/AP Images for WWE, File)
Associated Press
Erik BeastonFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2014

When someone achieves the level of stardom that John Cena has, one will readily assume there is a certain backstage political power that comes along with it. That is almost always the case and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future.

In Cena's case, however, political maneuverings have never been closely related to the 14-time heavyweight champion. Still, that has not prevented the harshest of Cena's critics from using the word "bury" in reference to his victories.

On June 29, Cena will enter the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder match involving seven of WWE's brightest stars. Were he to leave his hometown of Boston with the most prestigious prize in the industry, he would do tremendous damage to his legacy, and the harsh criticisms of his biggest detractors would only increase in volume and passion.

2014 has seen a youth movement infiltrate World Wrestling Entertainment. Stars such as The Shield and the Wyatt Family have dominated television thanks to high-profile storylines. Cesaro and Bad News Barrett have enjoyed renewed pushes and increased television time. Newcomers like Bo Dallas, Rusev and Adam Rose have made an impact on programming while the advent of the WWE Network has introduced the stars of NXT to a brand new audience.

As many strides as the company has made to ensure the future of the company by pushing young stars to the forefront, Cena winning the championship at the upcoming Money in the Bank pay-per-view will only serve as a reminder to fans that all of the young, motivated and hungry talent in the world will not change the fact that Cena remains the unquestioned face of WWE and the barrier between the monotonous and change.

A championship reign for no reason other than to bring Cena one step closer to "Nature Boy" Ric Flair's record of 16 and remind everyone that he is the top star in the industry would be a mistake of massive proportions.

Champions are only as great as their championship reigns. Too many times throughout his career, Cena has been the recipient of runs with the WWE or World Heavyweight Titles just because of who he is. His last truly great title reign came in 2006, when he held the gold for a year and only lost it when injury dictated it necessary.

He has held 11 championships since then and none of the reigns have been the quality that would suggest Cena is one of the greatest titleholders of all time. Why continue watering down his resume with meaningless reigns rather than taking the opportunity to elevate a young star to the pinnacle of the sport by beating someone every fan already believes is a Hall of Famer?

A win by Cena June 29 will only give his detractors more ammunition. It will only add more fuel to the proverbial fire and lead to more claims of "burying" talent or stroking his ego.

Regardless of whether Cena had anything to do with the decision to put the strap back on him.

Ultimately, Cena will be remembered as the face of an era who generated mixed reactions from a fanbase tired of his same old shtick. He will be celebrated for his charity work and rightfully so.

But he will also be scrutinized for his many unnecessary title reigns and the fact that young talent was never really able to break the grasp he had on the top spot in the industry.

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